Imagine going through final exams and graduation on the same day. Thirteen spring graduates of the three-quarter-long Culinary Arts Professional Program, through UCLA Extension, did just that. They toughed out their finals in the kitchen at Orleans restaurant. The results--a six-course meal for 60--were served to their families, friends and teachers at the graduation ceremony held in the restaurant's upstairs dining room. Of course, they wore crisp chef's whites and baseball hats, rather than gowns and graduation caps.
GRADUATION CLASS MENU
Cold cream of Vidalia onion soup
Pumpkin ravioli with sage pine nut butter
Salad of seared ahi over mesclun with sesame tamari dressing
Loin of lamb roulade with spinach mousse and sauce demi-glace served with new potatoes en papillote and sauteed wild mushrooms
Grand Marnier truffles
SALAD OF SEARED AHI TUNA WITH SESAME TAMARI DRESSING
8 Chinese pea pods
4 cups mixed baby lettuce, cleaned and dried
1/2 cup julienned sweet red pepper
1/2 cup julienned yellow pepper
1 pound Ahi tuna loin
Sesame Tamari Dressing
String pea pods. Cut 3 into lengthwise strips and reserve for garnish. Cut remaining diagonally into thirds. Toss together baby lettuce, sweet peppers and sliced pea pods in bowl. Chill.
Lightly oil saute pan or grill and heat. Sear tuna over high heat on all sides. Slice thinly on diagonal into medallions.
Toss lettuce mixture with 2/3 of Sesame Tamari Dressing. Arrange on 8 to 10 individual salad plates or serving platter. Arrange tuna medallions in overlapping manner on top of greens.
Garnish salad with reserved pea pod strips. Drizzle with remaining dressing and serve with Sesame Toast. Makes 8 to 10 servings.
Sesame Tamari Dressing
Juice of 1 orange
Juice of 1 lime
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
1 tablespoon hot chile oil or to taste
1/2 cup salad oil
1/4 cup minced cilantro
Freshly ground pepper
Combine orange juice, lime juice, honey, sesame oil, chile oil, salad oil and cilantro. Mix well to blend. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Makes about 1 1/3 cups.
1 (1-pound) French baguette
3/4 cup butter
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup sesame seeds
Slice bread into 1/4-inch thick slices. Melt butter and stir in sesame oil to mix. Brush both sides of bread evenly with butter/oil mixture. Place on baking sheets. Brush one side of bread slices with beaten eggs. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Bake at 375 degrees 20 minutes or until crisp and golden. Store in airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week. (Or freeze and reheat in oven 10 minutes before serving.)
LOIN OF LAMB ROULADE WITH SPINACH MOUSSE
1 large lamb loin roast, boned and trimmed
1 tablespoon oil
Butterfly loin starting at lower third, cutting almost through lengthwise so loin opens like book. Repeat same procedure with thicker half so loin becomes triple original width.
Spread thin layer of Spinach Mousse over loin leaving 1 inch border all around. Loosely roll up loin and wrap in single layer of caul fat. Tie with string.
Heat oil in skillet over high heat. Sear all sides of lamb roll.
Roast loin at 400 degrees 15 to 20 minutes for medium rare. Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes. Slice and serve with Sauce Demi-Glace. Makes 8 to 10 servings.
3 bunches spinach, cleaned
2 eggs whites
5 ounces boneless chicken
2 cloves garlic
1/2 ounce green peppercorns
6 ounces whipping cream
Steam spinach just until bright green in color. Drain and squeeze dry.
Place spinach in food processor or blender container. Add egg whites, chicken, garlic, salt to taste and green peppercorns. Process to almost puree consistency.
Add cream with motor running and blend until texture is similar to heavy mashed potatoes. Do not overprocess.
5 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons finely chopped shallots
2 cups red wine
2 1/2 cups brown stock
2 1/2 cups lamb stock
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
Melt 1 tablespoon butter in skillet. Add shallots and saute until tender. Add wine and reduce mixture by about 3/4.
Stir in brown stock, lamb stock and rosemary. Reduce by half. Remove from heat and swirl in remaining 4 tablespoons butter until smooth.
SAUTEED WILD MUSHROOMS
2 pounds shiitake mushrooms
2 pounds oyster mushrooms
2 pounds chanterelles
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup unsalted butter
5 shallots, minced
Minced fresh thyme
Trim off stem ends of mushrooms. Wipe mushroom caps with damp cloth. Slice shiitake and oyster mushrooms. Quarter chanterelles.
Heat olive oil and butter in heavy skillet. Add shallots and mushrooms and cook over high heat 5 to 10 minutes until lightly browned, stirring constantly. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with fresh thyme. Makes 8 to 10 servings.
TARTE AU CITRON
4 egg yolks
Juice of 4 medium lemons
Juice of 1 medium lime
3/4 cup sugar
Grated zest of 2 lemons
6 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces (at room temperature)
Pate Sucree Tart Shells